Russo-Ukraine War - 16 June 2022 - Day 113
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
One hundred and thirteenth day of the Ukrainian nation's heroic confrontation with the Russian military invasion continues.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that significant losses of Russian occupation troops ruined the military leadership's plans to move rapidly into Ukraine. Cases of dismissal of a large number of personnel due to refusal to take part in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine have become more frequent. This precluded efforts to strengthen and replace Russian units that have lost their combat capability in a short time. Ukrainian units, performing fire tasks, continue to successfully reduce the number of Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil.
Deputy Head of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev took to Telegram and conveyed his doubts about Ukraine still being around in two years. ""I saw a report that said Ukraine wants to get LNG (liquefied natural gas - ed.) from its overseas masters under lend-lease with payment for delivery in two years. Otherwise it will just freeze to death this winter. Just a question. Who said that in two years Ukraine will even exist on the world map? Not that the Americans care - they are so invested in their ‘anti-Russia’ project that everything else is trivial to them." Medvedev thus admitted that Russia’s goal is the annihilation of Ukraine; that the cause of the war is not the people of Donbas, not the threat from NATO and definitely not imaginary "biolaboratories" and "nuclear developments".
The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to drive home a message of support that Kyiv hopes will lead to more weapons supplies and tougher sanctions on Russia. In the first such visit to the Ukrainian capital since Russia unleashed its invasion, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Mario Draghi and Romania’s Klaus Iohannis also gave qualified support for Kyiv’s bid to join the European Union.
The German daily "Bild" noted that it was "striking" that at a joint press conference, "Draghi and Macron stood next to Zelenskiy, and Scholz and Iohannis stood from the outside." The order of the speeches was also significant - assesses "Bild": "First Zelenski spoke, then Draghi, then Iohannis, then Macron. Scholz was the last." However, the daily also notes that "Zelenski praised Scholz." He quotes the statements of the Ukrainian president: "Weapons were delivered, including the one requested"; "Germany helps us a lot here"; "Yes, I am convinced that the entire German nation supports Ukraine."
“My colleagues and I came here to Kyiv today with a clear message: ‘Ukraine belongs to the European family,'” Scholz said, while Macron said, “We all four support the immediate EU candidate status” for Ukraine. For his part, Draghi said: “The most important message of our visit is that Italy wants Ukraine in the EU.”
Granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union can significantly strengthen freedom in Europe and become an important successful decision on its historical path. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a conversation with media representatives following a meeting with the Presidents of France and Romania, as well as the Prime Minister of Italy and the Chancellor of Germany in Kyiv.
"Russia wants to show that the European Union is allegedly incapable of being effective and that European values cannot protect freedom. We can and therefore must break this scenario jointly and prove to them that Europe will continue to be free, democratic and, I emphasize once again, this is important - united," said the President of Ukraine.
Dmitry Medvedev commented : "European fans of frogs, liverwurst and spaghetti love visiting Kiev. With zero use. Promised EU membership and old howitzers to Ukraine, lushed up on gorilka and went home by train, like 100 years ago. All is well. Yet, it won’t bring Ukraine closer to peace. The clock’s ticking" The phrased "fans of frogs, liverwurst and spaghetti" clearly references France, Germany, and Italy. while gorilka is a Ukrainian alcoholic beverage. The word gorilka may also be used in a generic sense in the Ukrainian language to mean vodka or other strong spirits.
Ukraine's defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, revealed that a document was found with one of the fallen officers of the Russian army, showing Russia's military objectives. "They thought that they would be in the center of Kiev in 12 hours" said the minister. He noted that the Kremlin also naively expected the Ukrainian government to flee the capital within 72 hours. "Honestly, our partners from different capitals of the world were also naive. They told us "invasion is inevitable and you will fall. You only have 72 hours." That is why they did not give us heavy weapons" he emphasized. He added that only after the liberation of the Kiev region in March, Western partners began to hand over heavier weapons to Ukraine.
Peskov called foreign publications about the possible announcement of mobilization in the Russian Federation false stuffing. Putin will not announce mobilization in his speech at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum ( SPIEF ), on June 17, Peskov said.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that all of the main bridges over the Siverskyy Donets River, which link the contested town of Sieverodonetsk and Ukrainian-held territory, have now highly likely been destroyed. Ukraine has probably managed to withdraw a large proportion of its combat troops, who were originally holding the town. The situation continues to be extremely difficult for the Ukrainian forces and civilians remaining east of the river. With the bridges highly likely destroyed, Russia will now likely need to either conduct a contested river crossing or advance on its currently stalled flanks to turn tactical gain into operational advantage.
Russia’s combat force in the Donbas is highly likely operating in increasingly ad hoc and severely undermanned groupings. As claimed by the Ukrainian authorities, some Russian Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) - typically established at around 600 to 800 personnel - have been able to muster as few as 30 soldiers. For both sides fighting in contested towns, front line combat is likely increasingly devolving to small groups of troops typically operating on foot. Some of Russia’s strengths, such as its advantage in numbers of tanks, become less relevant in this environment. This is likely contributing to its continued slow rate of advance.
Rob Lee reported that Rosgvardia’s elite 604th Special Purpose Center’s Vityaz unit is reportedly allowing volunteers to sign up for 3-month contracts to fight in Ukraine. Volunteers will go through a 3-week training plan before deploying. "To the attention of volunteers. According to numerous requests from veterans of special units, the Commander-in-Chief of Rosgvardia approved short-term contracts in 604 TsSN Vityaz. Contract for 3 months. Everyone who wants to sign a contract to participate in the SVO as part of the detachment will pass the selection committee with the signing of all relevant documents in the division. After the approval and signing of documents, three weeks of military training and coordination in the Vityaz Training Center with a visit to the training grounds. From June 15, the first enrollment begins. The contract will spell out all the laws and regulations of existing employees."
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that in the Volyn and Polissya areas, certain units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus continue to carry out tasks to cover the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. Engineering equipment of positions in the border areas of Brest region is underway. In the period from 14 to 16 June, a command and staff exercise was conducted with the military units of the logistics of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus.
In the northern direction, the Russians fired artillery at the settlements of Leonivka in the Chernihiv region and Ulanovo, Sopych and Baranivka in the Sumy region. Russians struck a couple of Ka-52 helicopters near the town of Hlukhiv in the Sumy region. In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russians were fighting to deter units of the Ukraine Defense Forces from further advancing towards the State Border.
In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians used artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the areas of Zolochiv, Uda, Bayrak, Peremoha, Rubizhne, Verkhniy Saltiv, Pecheniga and Lebiazhe. Artillery shelling was recorded in the Slavic direction near Mazanivka, Krasnopillya and Dibrovny. Ukrainian soldiers repulsed an Russian assault in the direction of the village of Dolyna. The Russians retreated. In the Donetsk direction, the Russians did not stop firing on the positions of Ukrainian troops along the line of contact, concentrating the main efforts on the Severodonetsk and Bakhmut directions. No active offensive operations were observed in the Lyman direction. The occupiers fired artillery at the Starodubivka district.
In the Severodonetsk direction, the Russians used artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the areas of the settlements of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Ustynivka, Loskutivka, Metolkine and Borivske. Inflicted an air strike on Loskutovka. In the Bakhmut direction, the Russian occupiers fired artillery at areas of the settlements of New York, Zaitsevo, Pokrovskoye, Nova Kamyanka, Yakovlevka, Berestovo, Mykolaivka, and Novoivanivka. A couple of Ka-52 helicopters attacked the peaceful settlement of Yakovlivka.
Ukrainian soldiers again successfully repulsed the assault of the Russians in the direction of Berestov. In the Avdiivsky, Kurakhivsky, Novopavlovsky and Zaporizhzhya directions, the Russians tried to carry out assault operations in order to prevent the transfer of Ukrainian troops to other directions. Russians fired mortars, artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the areas of Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Zaliznychne, Huliaipole and Charivne. The situation in the South Bug area has not changed significantly. The Russians continueg to focus on maintaining the occupied frontiers and improving the engineering equipment of the positions. Russians used tube and rocket artillery in the areas of Osokorivka, Dobryanka, Topolyne, Knyazivka, Murakhivka, Chervona Dolyna, Zorya, Kotlyareve, Novomykolaivka, Stepova Dolyna, Tavriyske, Lymany and Oleksandrivka. The Russians maintained three high-precision weapons carriers ready for use with a total volley of up to 20 Caliber cruise missiles.
Briefing of the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that high-precision long-range missiles "Caliber" near the village of Zolochiv, Lviv region, destroyed an ammunition depot for foreign weapons transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries, including 155-mm M777 howitzers. High-precision air-based missiles in the Nikolaev region at the military airfield "Voznesensk" destroyed the aviation equipment of the Ukrainian Air Force.
A large number of weapons and military equipment from the United States and European countries delivered for the Ukrainian group in Donbass were destroyed in the areas of the railway stations Dobropillia, Pokrovsk of the Donetsk People's Republic and Orlovshchina of the Dnipropetrovsk region. In addition, as a result of the strikes, the following were destroyed: an airspace control radar station in the Lysichansk region of the Luhansk People's Republic, a Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile system in the area of the Soledar settlement of the Donetsk People's Republic, ammunition depots in the Gorskoe and Verkhnekamenskoye regions of the Luhansk People's Republic, and also two control points of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and a communication center in the areas of the settlements of Pereezdnoye and Ivano-Daryevka of the Donetsk People's Republic.
Operational-tactical, army and unmanned aircraft hit 24 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As a result of air strikes, more than 300 nationalists, an electronic warfare station near the village of Malinovka in the Kharkiv region, 10 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, three Grad multiple rocket launchers, 18 special vehicles, three mortar crews, and 11 guns were destroyed. field artillery, including four 155 mm M777 howitzers.
Russian air defense systems of Russia in the Krasnopolye region of the Donetsk People's Republic shot down a Su-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force. Also, six Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down in the areas of the city of Donetsk and the settlements of Pavlovka of the Donetsk People's Republic, Balakleya, Malaya Kamyshevakha, Chervony Shakhtar of the Kharkiv region, Lysychansk of the Luhansk People's Republic. In addition, 12 shells of the Uragan multiple launch rocket system were intercepted in the areas of the city of Donetsk and the settlements of Gorskoye and Vasilyevka of the Luhansk People's Republic.
Rocket troops and artillery hit in a day: 313 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment, 43 command posts of units, as well as 62 firing positions of artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The security of the Crimean Bridge is guaranteed by the Russian military, argued Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by the Ukrainian Pravda portal. The bridge that connects Russian-occupied Crimea with its territory is the "number one target" of the Ukrainian military. It is not the first time that we mention our bridge. You can see that we know and take into account such threats - he added.
General Dmytro Marchenko announced that the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Russian-occupied peninsula with the territory of the Russian Federation, will become the "number one target" of the Ukrainian armed forces as soon as Ukraine receives the necessary equipment. The Ukrainian general, who led the defense of Mykolaiv and the Mykolaiv Oblast from the first days of the Russian invasion, said this in an interview for the portal Krym.Realia. When asked whether the bridge built by Russia over the Kerch Strait would become the target of Ukrainian troops, he replied that "it will be 100 percent so."
"It is not a secret for their army or our army. Neither for their civilians, nor for our civilians. This will be the number one goal to overcome, he said. He noted that this is the main way to transfer Russian reserves. According to general Marchenko, when it is interrupted, "panic will begin". "And believe me: those who ran in Simferopol and Crimea with Russian flags will quickly get the Ukrainian ones and will run with the Ukrainian ones. Because, unfortunately, these people are like that" he said.
It was unclear which weapons Marchenko was hoping to use against the bridge, which the government in Kiev has threatened to attack before. Ukrainian intelligence received the technical documentation for the Crimean Bridge. The intelligence service decided to share the information and even published the document for public review.
Ukraine has asked for more weapons to turn the tide of the war decisively in its favor after enduring losses of 100-200 soldiers a day in a fierce battle for control of its eastern Donbas region. EU leaders, meanwhile, have grappled with keeping domestic opinion onside as the economic costs of the war and rising prices hit home. “We appreciate the support already provided by partners, we expect new deliveries, primarily heavy weapons, modern rocket artillery, anti-missile defence systems,” Zelenskyy said. “Every day of delay or delayed decisions is an opportunity for the Russian military to kill Ukrainians or destroy our cities,” he said. “There is a direct correlation: the more powerful weapons we get, the faster we can liberate our people, our land.”
We expect that the next aid package for Ukraine will include more HIMARS missile artillery systems, said US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. He added that the launchers are handed over in parties due to the limited possibilities of "absorption" of the new weapons by the Ukrainian side. When asked about China's attitude towards the war in Ukraine, Sullivan said that on the most important issues - material support for Russia and bypassing sanctions - the US had not noticed that Beijing decided to help Moscow.
The United Kingdom purchased and repaired more than 20 M109 self-propelled howitzers from a Belgian company to Ukraine. This was announced by the Minister of Defense of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace, quoted by Sky News. He also says Ukraine is beginning to receive "dozens, if not hundreds" of anti-ship missiles to help protect itself from warships. "You will see that the situation will become more hostile to Russian forces. It will be harder for them to do what they want to do. The next big question is whether only Ukrainians will be able to push them back or push them out of the country, only time will tell, "Wallace said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said his country would supply Ukraine with six new-generation Caesar self-propelled artillery units. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny said that the Ukrainian military is already using French 155-mm Caesar self-propelled artillery units on the front line. Caesar ACS allows you to hit the enemy at a distance of 20 km or more from the front line with high accuracy. At this distance are artillery, reserves, enemy control points. Their destruction reduces the offensive potential of the enemy.
Coca-Cola in Russia sells only drinks from old stocks. As soon as they are over, the company will stop producing and selling its products in this country. In addition to Coca-Cola, the company owns brands such as Fanta, Schweppes, Sprite, BonAqua, Rich and others. There are also ten plants of this company in Russia. In March, amid Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Coca-Cola said it was suspending its work in Russia. At the time, the company said it would continue to monitor and evaluate the situation "as circumstances develop."
Kiev has revealed the extent of its daily casualties in the conflict with Russia. As many as 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed or wounded each day in Donbass. David Arakhamia, who leads Kiev’s negotiations with Moscow and heads the Ukrainian president’s party in parliament, disclosed the figures during a roundtable meeting at the German Marshall Fund in Washington DC. He said the number of daily casualties among Ukrainian soldiers has significantly increased since Russia stepped up its offensive in Donbass.
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